Murdo Girl…Lav gives her all

Hey MG readers! I’m almost finished with my project and I will most likely post it this evening. In the meantime, here is another rerun. I hope I’m not the only one who gets a chuckle out of the Brick House campaign for Next Pres, stories.

I’ve been all over the place haven’t I? I’ve written a couple of Murdo/History/camera stories, Beastertown, Pearl, and of course tiny home updates. We’re only a few weeks away from occupying our new tiny mansion, so updates will be forthcoming. You will love it! Maybe I will be able to stay more focused once we are all settled in. Thank you for your enduring patience!

The following has been edited. Who says you can’t rewrite the past?


It’s Saturday night at the Coyote County Convention. The keynote speaker is Lav Yekcel. Head for the platform Lav and make your anytime minutes count.

1-Your Highness Valerie
Lav Yekcel, Publicity Stunt Coordinator and sometimes Queen

The Dems have their Donkeys, the Repubs have their Elephants, Barney Fife has the Lone Wolves. Murdo Girl is running for President on the Coyote Ticket. That’s right. We’re not Dems and were not Repubs, we are just one thing, The Coyotes.


Who are the Murdo Coyotes? By Lav

The Coyote party is much like the animal. We protect our own, and howl at anyone who threatens our town, especially if there’s a full moon. Coyotes  can go anywhere and not be bothered. On the other hand, the opposition party, Barney’s Lone Wolves, mainly live in the lowlands. I mean they not only live in low places, they’ve got friends in low places, where the whiskey flows and the beer chases their blues away.


Back to the Coyotes. Blah, blah, blah…

Crowd: crickets…where did the crowd go? Oh, I see a few gathered in the lobby. They’re enjoying coffee and homeade cookies. I see MG’s mother brought her famous homeade Oreos.

Lav smiles, bows, and blows kisses as she is run off the stage.

Murdo Girl will now give her acceptance speech and tell us all who the Coyote VP candidate will be. (There is a smattering of applause. It appears most of the crowd is clapping with just one hand.)

Murdo Girl

Thank you for your support Murdo. A special thanks to Carol for her beautiful rendition of Oh, here’s for Murdo Girl.


I accept the nomination for President of The United States of America, with an emphasis on Murdo.


I can’t go past a water tower anymore without feeling a deep sense of pride. Every time I see a Wall Drug sign pointing towards Murdo, I get all choked up. The Coyote team has worked miracles, with a lot of brawn and very little brains. You all know who I’m talking about. Bless your hearts.


I would like to make sure everyone knows about the hamburger and hot dog cookout to be held on the lot across the street. It will be starting immediately after the conclusion of tonight’s festivities.  All we ask is that you cross Jerry’s palms with a few bucks. It costs more money than we anticipated to keep the 97 Wall Drug signs pointing to Murdo.

1-queen hamb
The Queen will be serving

Do we really want Murdo to be our Nation’s Capital? I think not. Let the D.C. Dolts stay where they are. The best S and R’s are from SD anyway. Let them do their thing. We will live by our Mission statement. Someone in Mission, SD wrote, ” If you want to be Rome, do as the Roman’s do.” I believe that simple statement will go down in history. We will, of course, substitute Murdo for Rome, and add anonymous, who we all know writes good stuff.

I have been asked to stay out of the low cost healthcare stuff. Murdo will do it’s part to keep everyone healthy by outlawing Bing Candy bars. You will no longer be able to get a Bing and a Coke at Mack’s Cafe. (At this news the convention delegates Boo.)


Hold on now people, you can still go to Draper or Vivian and buy Bings. You just can’t get them in Murdo anymore. We’re trying to set a good example, that’s why the Methodist Church basement Cooks are starting a Supersize class on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


The men are going to try to stay fit by walking the square on Mondays and Wednesdays. You must arrive at the Frosty Freeze by 9:00 a.m. if you want to participate. The Frosty is offering 2 for one milkshakes at 10:00 which should hurry everything along.parade

Unlike my opponent Barney Fife, I won’t be distracted by throwing people like poor Otis Campbell in jail. I won’t be carrying a gun with one bullet. I’ll have at least two, and I’m thinking about three. I have already passed the gun safety course.



Our Senator has also asked me to stay out of trying to pass bills that would beef up our military, which I’m reluctant to do. Our military needs some beefing up. They’re pretty little.



I really appreciate how the Senator is trying to lighten my load. I still have to deal with the town infrastructure. As soon as somebody tells me how to infrastructure, I’ll get right on it.

At this time, I would like to announce my running mate on the Coyote ticket. My VP nominee is Lav. I picked her mainly because I already have a lot of pictures of us together. We are also planning a girl’s vaca in October, and she has a $62.00 crown. She has to figure out a way to get her money’s worth out of it.


Lav also knows how to drive the Jeep. We’ll have to get Sherri to paint her name on it. I will soon be announcing a new Publicity Stunt Manager to take the place of the vacant Lav.

This was the conclusion of the Coyote County Convention. Go Coyote Team. We’re all behind you. Hey, Where is everybody? Anybody still in the Harold Thune Auditorium?? Who turned the lights out? The Party’s over??

Crickets, Crickets, Crickets

They must have all gone to the cookout.

(Murdo girl got tied up today and wrote this very quickly. Now I’m going to Draper to get a coke and a Bing.)


Murdo Girl…Biting the bullet

Today is Friday, but we’ll have to pretend it’s Thursday for a couple of days so we can get everything in. We only campaign on the week-ends.

Can I be excused? I have a toothache

Tonight is the kickoff of the Convention, which is being held at the Harold Thune Auditorium. It has become necessary for team Coyote to name a chairperson for the CCC  (Coyote County Convention). We need someone with a certain skill set. They have to be smarter than Bart, more organized than Smart, and braver than Braveheart.

1-glitter teresa
I can’t do it, I’m Treason, short for Teresa the Liaison

Murdo Girl: I would like to introduce everyone to Mari Jackson the chairwoman of the Coyote County Convention. Mari’s husband Eddie has volunteered, with the emphasis on volunteer, to  be sort of a Jackson of all trades. He’s also going to be the convention co-chair. 

Remember, we didn’t get our papers filed in time to run in all the states, so we’re only running in Jones County. That’s why we can’t have a Coyote National Convention. We are however appealing to the masses with a new campaign slogan. “Don’t write Murdo Girl off, Write Murdo Girl in.”

My bodyguards, Bart, Smart and Braveheart are taking the message to the whole United States.They are riding with Thelma Lou and Louise. The ladies will be campaigning for Barney of course, but we’re willing to compromise ourselves, because Thelma Lou and Louise are providing the car…and the gas…hopefully they’re insured.


Now, how are we coming on the preparation for the opening of the convention tonight? Chairman of the CCC, do you have an update for me?

C of CCC: What? You just yanked me off the street Murdo Girl. Ever since you made me carry your sign all over Murdo, I have been crossing the street to avoid you. I didn’t see you coming today…don’t know how I missed the glare off the tinfoil.

1-front view Don Mari and Eddie
Don Edwards, not a C (yet) Mari Jackson, C of CCC and Eddie Jackson, CC of CCC

CC of CCC: Well, C of CCC, the way I look at it the next Pres has to be “Anybody but Barney.” So let’s bite Barney’s bullet and take this seemingly hopeless task on.

A I: This whole thing is making the hair on the back of my neck stand up. You should have had me do a background check. It’s not too late Murdo Girl. Can I at least check their emails and Facebook account?

1-A l

Lav:  Why do I have to give the speech tomorrow night? I’m just the person in charge of Publicity stunts. I’m pretty tired too. Otis and I had to pick up all those rocks that the Photographic Drawer painted Murdo Girl on. She didn’t even help with one Radio Flyer wagon full.

Lav, Wagon, and Sherri, Photographic Drawer

Carol: Who knows the words to “Oh Who’s for Murdo Girl?”

1-carolyn fairbanks
I’m Carol and I sing the songs that make the whole world write

Yram Sicnarf: A speech IS a publicity stunt Lav. Murdo Girl do you have any kids you can haul up on the platform to cry and emote over you?

Murdo girl senses that she has lost control of the meeting and the convention will be underway in less than 2 hours. Her right eye starts to twitch. All of a sudden the door at the top of the basement steps swings open. There is a small figure emerging from the bright light. Murdo Girl has a sharp intake of breath. Her crown is starting to feel too tight on her head. The photographic Drawer has some bad smelling paint. The fumes are permeating the room. Who is the child that just walked in and what does she want?

I’m Tammy and I would like to speak  about Murdo Girl at the CCC convention. She’s not my mother, but she practically raised me.

Lav: Sounds great Tammy. I’ll give you some of my anytime minutes.

Murdo Girl feels there is something in her past that she should remember about Tammy, but she doesn’t have time to get hypnotized or anything so she decides not to worry about it.



Oh Here’s for Murdo Girl

Oh here’s for Murdo Girl, she’s bound to win.

On the ballot for next Pres, her name you must write in.

She will move us forward, like no one else before

Yes Murdo’s our new capital, from now til evermore.

Murdo Girl will keep her promises, starting now until forever.

There’s Murdo South Dakota, and then there is.. Whatever

Go Coyotes!!

1-Smiling tc
The Town Cryer with tomorrow’s agenda

Tomorrow…The speeches to make the whole room cry, by Tammy and Lav

Murdo Girl’s choice for VP will be announced, but there might not be enough time for that person to speak. It’s hard to get it all in you know.

Thank you for your support. (Any monetary donations will be appreciated, but please no potato chips or Little Debbie Snacks.)

1-Jerry Elrod
Jerry the Bean Counter


Murdo Girl…Don’t worry Murdo, I’ve got your back

Murdo Girl: No more fun and games team Coyote! It’s time to prepare for the convention. It’s time to pick a running mate. It’s time to torpedo Barney Fife once and for all. It’s time to..What? Teresa the Newspaper Liaison to beat all liaisons what’s wrong with you?

Teresa: I was just getting a little twitterpated Murdo Girl with all the” it’s time” stuff. We need a campaign slogan. I think we had one once, but I haven’t read the paper in awhile and I forgot it.

Murdo Girl: You mean to tell me that my Newspaper Liaison doesn’t read the paper? Oh, never mind. I was having so much fun at the All School Reunion last week that I totally forgot I was running for President.

Murdo Girl looks around the room obviously surprised at the attendance of her mandatory meeting being held in the Jones County State Bank basement Coyote headquarters.

Murdo Girl: Listen up everyone. All two people give her their undivided attention. Who is that you’ve got with you Teresa? I need to come up with what to call you. Teresa the Liaison to the Murdo Coyote is too long and hard to spell…how about… Treason?


Treason: I don’t know who she is Murdo Girl…I thought you knew her. Murdo girl and Treason stare at the woman sitting in on the campaign strategy meeting.

The Stranger: Good gosh you two…I’m A I! I just have a new hat that’s all. Let me get back out there Murdo Girl. I know there just has got to be some Barney Baloney out there somewhere. You know, something we can use to wipe his pinched, thin face off the face of the ballot.

1-A l

Murdo girl: Okay, it’s all about faces.

A I: Okay

About that time here comes everybody else:

Top from left: Jerry the Bean Counter, Yram Sicnarf the crack up reporter, Laura the Town Crier, Sherri the Photographic Drawer, Bart the body-guard

Bottom from left: Smart the body-guard, Braveheart the bodyguard, Carol the campaign song singer, Lav the publicity stunt coordinator, and The Queen.. turn around Queenie. It’s not like we don’t know who you are.

Murdo Girl: Bean Counter…Do I have to pay all of these highly paid staffers?

Jerry: Yes

Murdo Girl: In that case, I hope I pay you by the word.


After almost no discussion, here are the minutes to the meeting. Just the convention agenda part. It has to be into Tammy Van Dam by tomorrow. Nothing happens at the Harold Thune Auditorium with the Jerald Applebee floor, without Tammy knowing about it.

08-Mary's birthday
Don’t make me regret this MG

Thursday: Speech “Who are the Coyotes?” by Lav, (Publicity stunt coordinator). Following Lav’s speech, there will be a  commentary by Treason, who will later advise the Murdo Coyote.

Friday: That’s when we bring out the big guns. A I will report on Barney Fife’s bullet. Lav took a picture of it at the reunion. She must have had an unusual BOB (burst of brain) during a lull in the activities.


Saturday: The speaker will be the one all the before who want a good after, have been waiting for… Murdo Girl, who will  be super inspiring while she outlines her platform and names her running mate.

Sherri, the Photographic Drawer will be giving us drawings of it all.

At the culmination of each evening of hardcore politics, Carol will sing the new Coyote campaign song…”Oh Here’s for Murdo Girl!” It will be sung to the tune of, “I did it my way.”

Following the aforementioned activities, there will be the same thing for Barney Fife. Because of logistics, it’s necessary  to have a joint convention

Get ready Jerald Applebee floor…You can run on it, but you can’t hide from Murdo Girl and Barney. One of us will be your next Commander in Chief.


1-Barney and the President
There once was a deputy named Fife, Who carried a gun and a knife, His gun was all dusty, His knife was all rusty, Cause he never caught a crook in his life. (just saying)



Murdo Girl…Winning isn’t everything

Several people asked me how I did in the Boulder Bolder 10k that I talked about in yesterday’s blog so I looked back and found this story from July of 2016. I wrote it shortly after the Murdo All School Reunion. The first part is about the night of the reunion dance, and eventually progresses to my running career.

There was no dirt from the dance. Everyone I saw was pretty well-behaved and believe me, I looked hard for a newsworthy scandal. It was a totally different atmosphere from the Vivian dances of my youth. The ages of people having fun, ranged from 9 to 97. I didn’t have the stamina of those on either end. It was around 1:00 a.m. when I danced one dance with Dean Lindquist, who had just celebrated his 80th birthday. By the time the dance was over, I was so out of breath, he had to help me back to the table before he found someone else to dance with. I sat next to Dean’s daughter Karen whom I used to babysit. She asked a guy across the table if he was a Nix. He said yes and Karen told him she went to school with his Dad. The generations were getting too deep for me, so I decided to leave. It hasn’t been that long ago that I was in good shape…or was it longer ago than I remember?

Murdo Girl doesn’t know she’s not the object of everyone’s attention. (That’s Dean Lindquist and Tommy Kerlin goofing around.)

I got into the habit of telling people I’m a runner. I was for about five minutes. Actually, I ran 25 to 30 miles a week for about 15 years. I started when I was 40. I never was nor ever claimed to be a Suzanne Brost, who is also from Murdo. I ran the Boulder Bolder in Colorado with her once. Let me correct that statement. I ran the same race and came in about an hour behind her. I blamed it on the high altitude and then there were TV cameras, so I changed course a little to wave at the cameraman. Billy was there for the big event. I’m sure he thought  I had been taken somewhere by ambulance. At least I wasn’t the last one to come in. My niece and her friend had a goal to be last. I think they got 2nd to last. They said it was harder than you would think. I have a feeling Billy put money on the outcome, which could have been good or bad. I was afraid to ask him what my odds were.


I had the official Certificate from the Boulder Bolder, signed by R.U. Sane, but it must be packed in a box somewhere. It adjusts my time for hazards beyond my control. It started at 56.23 minutes, but we got it down to 48.99 minutes.

Kip’s sister, Kristin, and I ran the Turkey Trot in Dallas together fifteen times. We finally had to quit because it was taking us so long, we were afraid we were going to miss Thanksgiving dinner.

I ran several 10ks in and around the Dallas area and actually won a few times in my “age group.” The next day, they would put the winners and the times of the different “age groups” in the Dallas Morning News. I always hoped my friends missed that portion of the paper. The times weren’t good enough to even want bragging rights.

Kip took his sister Kristin and I to participate in a Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure at North Park in Dallas. The race starts out at a snail’s pace and it’s quite a while before you can actually get up to jogging speed. Kris and I were in pretty good shape then, and decided to take off on our own through the beautiful neighborhoods. We had a fabulous run, and caught up with the tail end of the Komen race. We were laboring a little, and sweating almost as much as I did in the hot Harold Thune Auditorium during the reunion.

1-Mrs. Peters

It wasn’t until we noticed we were nearing the finish-line and running behind  people in their 80’s, mommies pushing baby carts, and the walkers, that we realized what was happening. We heard shouts of “You can make it,” and, “Just a little bit further.” They were cheering us on. Kip looked worried. He finally spotted us and worry turned to disbelief and embarrassment. Our explanation fell on deaf ears. We kept getting the “You poor things,” look.

Let’s see you try to run it Queenie and Son

I sound like I’m denigrating myself, but I’m really not. Every bit of it was fun and I did my best. I won’t go into my golfing career. Someone once described a nanosecond as the time it takes me to perform my back swing. I was actually pretty good, then I took lessons and it ruined my game.

Did she say fore or four? Never mind she shanked it!

My Cousin Valerie does Zumba and she is in great shape, however I noticed she didn’t dance at the reunion. Anyway, I bought a Zumba tape and I really like it. I’ve gone through it five times. On Monday, I’m going to try to do it. What do they say? Getting older isn’t for sissies? I try to ignore it. I will always be younger than somebody.

You just have to stay active and aggressive



Murdo Girl…The past meets the future

1-Arial view
Arial View of Murdo, SD

Yes, I’m still talking about the reunion…Later on Saturday, I found out what the lone table sitting on the plastic cover of the Applebee floor in the Harold Thune Auditorium was for. I got the following invitation.

The coveted pin

What: A meeting of the (Past) Future Betty Crocker Homemakers of  Tomorrow

When: Saturday night at 9:00 pm (right before the dance)

Agenda…Defend yourselves ladies

The attendees: Patti Dykstra Arnieri, Nancy Parish, Molly Cline, Murdo Girl, The Queen

The Presentations

1-Patti painting
 I’m Patti. I wear my apron to paint twinsie pictures with my sister Judy
1-Nancy coffee
I’m Nancy. I learned how to make coffee. It changed my life
I’m Molly. I didn’t go to this school and I didn’t get BCH of T. I can cook, sew, clean and I’m a wonderful person. I have held a grudge toward the winners everywhere for 51 years, and I’m not going to take it anymore! Please sign my petition and you’ll get an orange and black sticker
1-queen scrapbooking
I’m Queen Elizabeth, but you can call me Betty. I like to make scrapbooks
I’m Murdo Girl and I have a throbbing Headache.
1-Coach, Mr. Thune and Mrs. Peters
“Well that was fun,” said Mrs. Peters. “Get off my floor,” said Coach. “Get out of my auditorium,” said Mr. Harold Thune. See Coach Applebee is looking at his floor. “It’s got plastic on it Coach.”

The Dance.. I took my crown off and sang The Coyote School Song. I love microphones! To the left of the crown is coach and his bouncers. They kicked us all out. Geez coach, do you ever sleep?

The Banner and the ashtray on display at the home of Murdo Girl

1-Your Highness Valerie
Are you happy now your highmess?

Tomorrow I’ll disclose some dirt from the dance, and I hear Yram Sicnarf scored an interview with the head janitor who was responsible for cleaning the Applebee floor, even back before it had a name.

1-20160725_164817 (1).jpg

Murdo Girl…The alumni tells all


A rare look inside the Harold Thune Auditorium. It looks like they weren’t expecting very many people..hmm

Hi, I’m Yram Sicnarf and I have finally pulled together some highlights from interviews I snagged at the recent All School Reunion in Murdo. You may have seen me, but didn’t know it. I showed up in several different disguises. A crack up reporter like myself has to be creative so as not to alarm the interviewees.

Judy Dykstra Brown talking candidly with a disguised Yram Sicnarf

First on board was Judy Dykstra Brown. Judy is a well known blogger, published author, and poet. I asked her to give me some dir..I mean share her knowledge about a Murdoite. The following is a synopsis of what she said.

Once your uncle Jeff Sanderson “bought” me at an MYF slave auction. Irma had been gone and was coming home the next day and I think Jeff was panicked that the house would be in disarray. As I recall, he told me to sweep, mop and dust, but then he left Mark in charge while he went back up to the store. Well, Mark took the term “slave” literally. He wanted me to clean his room, wash clothes–even iron. I told him I was just supposed to do what his dad told me to do and continued cleaning.

Meanwhile, he went out and snooped around in my car and found a pack of cigarettes under the car seat. Lynn, Rita, Sheila and I used to drive around on Sundays and smoke… but my folks of course did not know this. So, he came in with the cigarettes and blackmailed me into doing whatever he wanted me to do or he’d tell my folks! He was not very old when this happened. I can tattle, too!!! I have a few Murdo stories on my blog as well..Pretty soon we’ll have all the secrets dug up.

1-Judy dancing
This is Judy back when she smoked

A side note as told to Yram Sicnarf by Murdo Girl….

Remember my story about the time my Dad took my cousin Mark and me to a bingo fundraiser uptown? Dad paid for us to play a bunch of games. Eventually Mark won an ashtray. He told Dad he would have given it to him, but he won it on a free game.

This is Mark at about the time he pulled  his stunts. Looks innocent doesn’t he?

Well, he must have been tormented by it for all these years, because when Val and I went to see him, he left the room and came back with the ashtray. He said he was trying to get rid of some junk, but I could tell by the way his voice quivered that he was overcome with guilt. We were only 7 at the time, so that was 57 years ago. Now, I have a 57 year old ashtray.

I don’t smoke. Mark should have given this to Judy

Another Note…as told to Yram Sicnarf by Murdo Girl

Murdo girl was an MYF slave too. I always made sure The Lindquists bought me. We usually went swimming, or shopping. They like slumber parties too. They love Murdo Girl!

Hi Karen, Tammy, and Kim ..Love the sign

I have to go now. Don’t miss tomorrows interviews with“The Old and the Restless”, or is it “The Bold and the Passable?” Wait! “The Old and the Bold”

All they had to do was carry the sign. 

I think this is my favorite disguise
The Queen doing her imitation of Mrs. Peters

Murdo Girl…The family roots

  1. Bowers, Margarete, 1926
  2. Bowers, Robert, 1929
  3. Bowers, William (Bev), 1933
  4. Francis, William, 1937
  5. Francis, John, 1934
  6. Francis, Charles, 1942
  7. Francis, William, Billy, 1962
  8. Francis, Mary, 1970
  9. Sanderson, Wayne, 1930
  10. Sanderson, Ella, 1933
  11. Sanderson, Jeff, 1933
  12. Sanderson, Helen, 1935
  13. Sanderson, Loretta, 1938
  14. Sanderson, Elna, 1944
  15. Sanderson, Terry, 1959
  16. Sanderson, Jeff H., 1965
  17. Sanderson, Mark, 1970
  18. Sanderson, Rhon, 1986
  19. Sanderson, Len, 1987
  20. Miller, Andrea, 1967
  21. Miller, Stephanie, 1971
  22. Miller, Greg, 1973
  23. Miller, Renee, 2003
  24. Miller, Jordon, 2007
  25. Miller, Matthew, 2011

This is a list of all the people in my family who have graduated from MHS/JCHS

The years range from 1926 to 2011. The list doesn’t include family members such as Irma Bork Sanderson, or those in our family who taught in the Murdo Schools, such as Vava Bowers, or Margaret Anderson Francis. I’m sure there are families with more members among the Graduates, but I am very proud that the list of 25 well represents a heritage that is both meaningful and lasting.

I’ve been to Horse Creek, where my Grandparents farmed and ranched when they first moved to the area.

The Family Businesses..  My Grandfather John Francis, owned Francis Hardware in Murdo. After his death at the age of 36, My Grandmother, Constance Francis ran the store until it was sold to the Thune family. My Father and his two brothers moved to the Murdo Depot when Connie married William Bowers (the Depot Agent), in 1928. They were still living above the Depot when my Dad’s youngest brother Charles graduated high school in 1942. Sanderson’s Store was first owned by my Grandfather M.E. Sanderson, then Jeff Sanderson.  My Father, Bill Francis owned Francis Plumbing and Heating. The Chalet Motel, owned by my parents, was part of what is now The Range Country Motel, owned by Greg Miller. The LandMark Country Inn is owned by Mark Sanderson, and of course Jerry Miller built countless Homes and Businesses in the Murdo Area. Wayne Sanderson had a dirt moving, and road construction operation.

The School Days

Murdo Elementary School – All six grades in 1930

Not enough room for the memories


Murdo Girl…Whateverland


Well now that The Donald has officially accepted the nomination of the Republican party, and Hillary’s convention is next week, it will soon be time for Barney and Murdo Girl to quit loafing around and get Murdo, the center of it all, fired up again. We can probably have a convention in The Harold Thune Auditorium now that all the alumni have cleared out. I don’t blame the Coach for putting plastic on his floor. Do you think that’s why it was hotter than fire in there? My hair looks dripping wet in every picture. With my most recent bad haircut, it didn’t look that good dry.

I was so hot, I couldn’t wait another minute for her to turn around, so Val snapped this photo. You’re my favorite Mrs. Peters!!

I had to go to the doctor a couple of days before I left for Murdo. It was just a regular check-up. I had gained a few elbeez since the last time. When I commented that I had gained weight only because I was going to a reunion, the good Doc said, “You look great and everyone you see will think so too!” Then as I was walking out, he said, “Of course, there’s always someone who looks better.” What is that supposed to mean? I will say most of the alumni I saw, were pretty well preserved.

1-Big Crown
I’m sick of Murdo Girl!! Neon? Tasteless

For the Parade, Valerie was dressed like the Queen who’s 90, and I was supposed to look like an eight year old playing dress-up . I’m sure there was more than one eight year old that looked better than I did.

Hi’re not says kindergarten on the sign

Kip thinks it’s kind of weird that I’ve been wearing my red gown and tinfoil crown every day. I don’t see why he should care as long as I continue to do all my chores. Well, not all of them I guess. Part of the reason I still wear the gown is because I haven’t done the laundry in three weeks. When I wear the dress, I have to wear the crown or people will look at me funny.


Yesterday,  I hung around the Monitor until it got too hot. The Monitor is our local newspaper. (I don’t have a “Newspaper Liaison” here  like Teresa in Murdo.) I believe in being proactive when I need to get noticed for publicity. You know, for my campaign. They finally snapped a couple of pictures. The picture was okay. It was even on the front page, but the caption said, “Aging queen posing as an 8 yr. old. Approach with caution.” It’s not true what they say. There is such a thing as bad publicity.

10-Royalty 1969

I like crowns too Grammy

“Hey Queenie! What would you say to your older selfie?”

I came home and Kip had started the wash. He is doing great after some serious back surgery. It was hard work nursing him back to health. When I left him to go to Murdo, I had to remember to call every day. Our friends, Pat and Jerry who drove him places and did other things, said he was great and never complained. Our kids always behaved better for someone else too.

I’m Jerry
I’m Pat

Unfortunately, I just found out from Lav that Texas is not one of the states we filed in so campaigning here will do me no good. I’m going to ask Kip if we can take the RV to Murdo for the convention. “Aggressive Informant, have you found out anything more about that low flying plane?”

I don’t think she heard me. Poor thing, she tries so hard. I hate to tell her, but that plane isn’t flying. I like the new hat though. It completely changes her look. My Photographic Drawer does good work.

Teresa, Coyote Liaison, and Sherri, Photographic drawer

I have to remember to ask Jerry  Elrod, my bean counter, if we have enough $ to buy more tinfoil.

Me, Jerry and Lav, hobnobbing in Murdo with some of my constituents, Paul and Ralph Thomas, Judy Dykstra Brown and Patti Dykstra Arnieri

What I’m trying to say here is there will be some campaigning, complaining, and explaining; Murdo talk, storytelling, relishing, and embellishing in the days to come. After all..I don’t want my crown to lose it’s luster.




Murdo Girl…Happy Birthday Connie Jackson

I have talked at length about how I wanted to be like Connie Jackson, so I won’t go over all of what you already know. Anyway, I started to think it never really happened at all. I thought maybe I dreamed it or as my Uncle Chuck Francis quoted Mark Twain as saying:

“When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not, but my faculties are decaying now, and soon I shall be so I cannot remember anything but the things that never happened.” 

Hm…Connie Like’s birthday cake. I’ll just have a bite

The proof in the form of a picture… or two, came to me quite by accident. Connie’s brother unknowingly verified what might make some think I’m not quite right. Eddie emailed some photos from our yearbooks because I lost mine.

There it was staring at me…The proof!

Exhibit A

The girl in the upper left corner is Connie. The girl in the lower right corner is yours truly. We have the same over the ear, short with bangs, hairdo. (Vicki above me has a cute do. I wonder if I could wear my hair like that now??)

No one else that year had the same cut. I actually looked through a couple of yearbooks while I was at the reunion and came up with nothing.

Exhibit B:

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Another picture of Connie with the “do”… Connie with Leslie Kell, Marilyn Kinsley, Doug Koester, and Tommy Kerlin. (I saw Tommy Kerlin at Dean Lindquist’s birthday party, which was the same week-end as the reunion. He lives in Sturgis and rides a really beautiful motorcycle. I wish I had a motorcycle like Tommy’s.)

Exhibit C:

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Apparently, Connie decided to grow her hair out. She is seated on the floor, 5th from the left. You can’t miss me, I’m right up there by Mr. Haugland. I guess our hair grew at about the same rate. The same do, right down to the little side curl. ( I just noticed Eunice looks taller than me. I wish I was a little taller.)

I couldn’t keep up with Connie’s clothes and shoes because she had too many. I had to just pick out a few like her’s. I went to work at the Frosty like Connie, but she quit so that didn’t exactly work out. Do you think I’m a manipulator? Mom always told me not to push the river. It flows. I think that was her way of saying I try to manipulate outcomes.

Whew! I think I’m getting over it in this picture. Connie graduated that year so I could no longer keep up the charade. (Marilyn Kinsley looks good in those glasses. I wonder if Wal-Mart has frames like that?)

When I was at the reunion, I saw Karen Ferdig (Snyder). She was one of my best friends in High School. I asked her if she had figured out, that I had been a Connie wannabe. She said she hadn’t realized it..(then). Karen looks the same as she did 46 years ago.

Karen and her beautiful granddaughter, McKenzie talking with Eddie Jackson at the reunion (I like her white pants. I wonder where she got them?)…on your right.. Karen’s Senior picture.

Anyway, I’m sure glad I got over that nonsense of wanting what everybody else has.


Connie would have been 66 today. We lost all three of these women to cancer. They each had three children. All were very special people. They are missed by those who are lucky enough to have known them.

Stephanie Miller
Connie Jackson 
Eunice Elrod

Let it never be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot.

They were all shining stars, but their moment was far too brief.

Murdo Girl….Murdo

I had been in Murdo a couple of days before I finally had the opportunity and the time to drive up and down the streets of my beloved hometown. I had worried about coming home. They say most people are disappointed when they come back to their hometowns because it will never be like it was. It will never be like you remember it, and it won’t feel like home.

The minute my cousin Valerie and I left Rapid City, I knew I had nothing to worry about. Whatever the next days held, I knew Murdo would feel like home to me. For several months now, I have relived my  life in Murdo. I have written almost every day about friends and family, childhood and high school years. Many of those I have written about are no longer walking this earth. They no longer live in the houses I remember so well.

Some of the buildings like Sanderson’s store are no longer there, but all the streets are the same. The Courthouse hill, Main Street, the walk to school, the road by the auditorium, the parade route, and Old 16, are all paths I walked countless times. They still require the same number of steps. It all looked wonderful to this Murdo girl.

The day I drove around Murdo, I ventured South of 16 where all the cousins lived. I could have been disappointed by all the changes, but I wasn’t. The feeling of being home was still there. Being in this place that held such wonderful memories, gave me tangible evidence that My Murdo was real and it always will be.

I spent time with old friends and made new ones. I saw some of my teachers and the girls I used to babysit. I drove all over town, and more and more good memories came flooding back to me. I talked to people who read my stories and are reminded of more or different fun times. We are all unique, yet in many ways we are all the same.

I saw my family

I was often too excited to remember to take pictures. Valerie and I saw our cousins Terry Sanderson and his wife Kay, Jeff H. Sanderson and Emily. We spent a lot, but not enough time visiting with cousin Mark Sanderson and Dave. On the night before we left SD, Valerie and I stayed with Cynthia Edwards and sang Karaoke for hours. We met Kevin, who was such a good sport and somewhat willing audience.

Greg and Carma Miller, Matthew and Renee, our two aunts Irma and Elna, and Angela along with her fiance Chad, were at a family dinner hosted by Andrea Miller Sheehan. ( Andrea took us to see her incredible doll collection.)  We saw countless classmates and friends.

You can go home and it can be really, really fun. Like this:

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Thanks to all the above, and a special thanks to the Lindquist girls and Dean for taking such good care of me and arranging for Murdo Girl and the Queen to be in the parade. Valerie and I had a wonderful time hanging out with Don Edwards, Eddie Jackson, and his beautiful and wonderful wife, Mari.

Stephanie Miller-Davis 

Tammy Lindquist Van Dam, got a proclamation from Murdo Mayor Kelsey Nash to establish Stephanie Miller-Davis Day. The first of April, Murdo honors Stephanie for her contributions to the school library. Stephanie’s desire was to instill a love of reading in each child.

There he is… SD State Senator, John Thune…(Mr. Thune’s son with a sign, and Murdo Girl, who now has a mobile sign.)


Our beloved Jeep…It belonged to our Uncle Jeff Sanderson, and now sits in the Pioneer Auto Museum in Murdo

The Grand Marshalls of the Reunion Parade…Mr. Harold Thune and Irma Sanderson in front of the Harold Thune Auditorium. Both are graduates of MHS. Aunt Irma was the Business Manager at the high school for many years and Mr. Thune taught and coached there for over 20 years. (I just noticed it looks like the sign says Old Thune graduate. It says Harold Thune.) 



Harold Thune led Murdo to the 1937 state Class B tournament finals, where he was named captain of the all-tourney team. He was the top scorer in the tourney with 35 points. Our Dad, William Francis was also on the team. They are center front in this photo.

Some of the class of 1970..Mary Francis, Eddie Jackson, Josephine Jost, Mark Sanderson, Don Edwards, Marlene Rada, Danny Koester, and Karen Miller..

I saw Dick Bradley, Ron Kinsley, Ella Elrod, Wally Elrod, and Guy Anker

From Judy Dykstra Brown and Patti Dykstra Arniere. The Betty Crocker Homemaker of tomorrow pin, Saxophone, The meal I couldn’t cook, $ to represent my banker days, the music to “Our Director”

Who says you can’t go home!!

Thanks to Patti, I now know the words to the school song.

Oh here’s to Murdo Coyotes, they’re bound to win; line like a stone wall, guards and forwards, all are out to win for Murdo. Let us cheer them forward, never give in; boost, boost for victory for we shall win.

I heard at one time that Mrs. Kuhrt wrote the lyrics. The tune is “Our Director.”

It’s now the Jones County Coyotes.

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I missed Billy

Bye Murdo…You’re the Best!!